Safe Harbor of Chester County, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, operates a low-barrier, emergency housing shelter. Providing for the needs of homeless men and women who, because of extenuating circumstances, do not qualify for other shelter programs operating in the area. We are willing to serve those with no place else to turn while maintaining a level of expectations that seeks to build self-esteem and empower individuals most in need.
The shelter is designed to support 20 homeless men and 20 homeless single women. Our women’s program opened on March 13, 2010, in a rainstorm that was the worst of the year. However, they were very thankful and full of joy to see their new home.
The shelter is arranged in a dormitory-style with separate bathrooms, shower facilities, new washers and dryers and now even a new kitchenette for the women living on the second floor.
In addition to all these new facilities, the men and women are provided, free of charge, clothing, personal needs and other items to help them maintain or even regain their self-esteem. New and returning residents receive an intake interview designed to identify immediate needs, understand their history and begin the process of their recovery. The shelter rules are also reviewed at this time to ensure residents understand that proper conduct is expected at all times. An action plan is developed for each resident and reviewed weekly by the Shelter Review Committee to ensure each resident’s goals and needs are being met. Working in concert with various referral agencies, these plans are designed to help residents achieve greater self-esteem, a higher level of independence and more stability. In addition, various activities are scheduled throughout the week to help residents deal with issues such as drug and alcohol addiction, life skills, budgeting, and employment.
As a volunteer-driven organization, Safe Harbor uses experienced and new volunteers and professional staff to support the shelter and all its needs. In 2019 Safe Harbor had over 400 volunteers working in the kitchen and shelter supporting our men and women during the day and evening.
During our Community Lunch Program, we have served over 46,000 meals a year. Most of these meals have been donated by individuals, faith communities and even corporations, just to name a few.
Without this support, the shelter would not be able to operate as well as it does. Safe Harbor would not exist without these special individuals.